MAC (Media Access Control) is a unique address for every network interface that connects to a network; it could be a local network (LAN) or the Internet. Devices like your Windows 10 computer, other computers, routers, phones, network printers, even the Apple TV etc.
Every network device that connects to the network has a unique MAC identifier embedded in the physical hardware. MAC address is also called as “Physical Address” of a device. This guide will show how to change MAC address in Windows 10/11 without 3rd party tools/software.
Why Change the MAC address in Windows 10?
The ultimate truth is that you can’t change a device’s MAC address because it is physically assigned/written on the device while manufacturing. When we talk about changing the MAC address of a network device, it is about faking the device’s Operating System and giving the different MAC addresses, called Mac Spoofing.
Since the MAC address is essential, like the device’s IP address for network communication, it can be used to control the device’s network traffic. Suppose any MAC filtering system or policies are in place at your organization or home to restrict the network traffic. In that case, you can change the MAC address by the following method to bypass those restrictions.
If someone blacklisted your device by the MAC address, changing the MAC address will allow you to skip the blacklist.
Ways to Change MAC Address in Windows 10/11 (and 8.1/7)
There are plenty of ways to change the MAC address in Windows 10 or Windows 11 with 3rd party tools and software, but here we are going to discuss the simple way we can do it without installing any tools.
We earlier mentioned the way of finding the MAC address on the local and remote computer.
To recap, here is the way to find the MAC address easily.
Open the command prompt and type “ipconfig /all”, depending on the number of network cards (like LAN port and Wi-Fi adapter); you will see the MAC address of the network adapters.
Here is the MAC address of the computer I’m demonstrating.
To change it, go to the Network Connections in the Control panel. Also, you can right-click on the network adapter from the notification area and open network and connection settings.
Right-click on the network adapter you need to change, then click Configure.
Under the ‘Advanced’ tab, you will find the option to modify.
Depending on the network card and driver, you may find different names. In my case, it was mentioned as “Locally Administrated Address” in some other Windows 10 computers; you may find it as “Network Address”. Click that and change it.
- I highly recommend taking a screenshot or recording the actual MAC address of your Windows computer network adapter before changing it. As I suggested earlier, changing the MAC address on a computer is mostly for temporary use only. You may need to add back the original physical address later.
- You can’t simply change the MAC address in Windows 10/11 or 8.1 for anything.
A slightly similar format should be maintained to match the current address. Since it is related to the manufacture and type of the network card, completely changing the address will not work.
Though it will not show any error messages if you change it wrongly, it will not take effect at the end. Changing one digit or letter will change your computer’s MAC address; hence, do not try to alter the entire format. In my case, I changed the only last letter as below.
Once you apply the changes, it will disconnect the network adapter and reconnect.
Now try the same “ipconfig /all” command. You must see a different MAC address if the operating system and network adapter driver accept the change.
Here is the modified MAC address on my Windows 10 computer. The same steps are applicable for Windows 11 as well.
That is the easy method to change the MAC address on Windows 10/11 laptop or desktop computer.
There is another method of changing it through registry modification. Still, when we have this simple method in the control panel, we can avoid the complicated registry changes—also, third-party tools to modify the MAC address are not required.